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"Hi", I say sheepishly and full of guilt because it has been a long time since my last post. I think I must say that every time, but for whatever reason, I just can't seem to get into the habit of posting regularly. So then I find myself being scolded by one of my children that it's been a while and, well, you know how it is.
So I have been trying to think of what to share that might help someone or serve to inspire and I have come up empty. Sad isn't it? Well, it's the truth. I would rather read someone else's blog than to presume to think anything I share is worth the read. It's in the name of submission that I do this (sometimes I hate that word!) with the hope that, at the very least, I will learn somethings about myself.
It's been kind of a running joke in our family how I set the record in the 1st grade for swats (spanking given with a paddle) given to a student in a school year. Ok, yes, it's true- but let's not focus on that, ok? Let's focus on why...
Ever since I can remember, I have talked too much. Back when I was in school we still had hand written report cards that also included teacher's comments. Every time I had to take a report card home to be signed, it never failed that the teacher would write something akin to "she talks too much". Over the years, this bad habit has cost me things, gotten me into trouble, hurt others, and so on. So I have been battling not just my tongue, but feeling the need to say anything at all. I know for me, I often open my mouth and words fall out without me even thinking about them (also written on my report cards). I have tried to put into practice the art of silence. Just being present, but not talking much. Sometimes I even dare to try to think before I speak! This may seem like a silly thing to you, but to a talker...well...it might be easier and less painful to just cut out the tongue!
On a particularly difficult day of managing my mouth, I ran across a list of when to keep your mouth shut along with scripture. I felt like it was a little nudge because I hadn't been doing so well lately. So that is what I am going to share with you. Maybe you're a talker too and like me, need some visual guidance on when to hush.
Oh, yes. Why did I get so many swats in the 1st grade? Because every time the teacher walked into the class to begin the day she would find me talking, which was against the rules. I can't remember what I felt was so important that I had to risk public humiliation for, but it must have been- right?
When to Keep Your Mouth Shut
In the heat of anger...Prov. 14:17
When you don't have all the facts...Prov. 18:13
When you haven't verified the story...Deut. 17:6
When you would be ashamed of your words later...Prov. 8:8
If the issue is none of your business...Prov. 14:10
When you are tempted to lie...Prov. 4:24
When your words will damage someone else's reputation...Prov. 16:27
When you're feeling critical...James 3:9
If it's time to listen...Prov. 13:1
When you are supposed to be working instead...Prov. 14:23
There are quite a few more that I could list, but this is a pretty big bite. It's going to take a lot of chewing to get it down.
When all else fails, remember that sometimes being quiet is the kindest thing you can say or do.